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My First Blog...my impressions of Orbiter

Posted 07-29-2012 at 11:28 AM by edjohnbus

Hello and greetings. My name is Edward and I am from Michigan. I'm really new to Orbiter, but I must admit I'm addicted.
I do find myself really struggling with 2 things (well, maybe 3): 1> Landing with a keyboard is really hard as it's almost impossible to maintain a decent rate <10m/s unless using kill-rotation (which only prevents over pitching/rolling the aircraft). 2> How the heck do you get from the moon to Earth? I can't find a decent PDF tutorial on this anywhere. I've tried setting up the transfer MDF with the ref=moon tgt=Earth, but you can't do that. The only thing I can do is ref=sun tgt=Earth, but then the math isn't there to get from the moon to Earth to set the DV +/- and ej point. I guess I only have 2 things I'm struggling with...been playing around doing low altitude flights circling the air field and coming back i for a landing (but my success rate even doing that is <20%).
Anyhow, I have searched til my eyes bled and can't find any tutorial on getting back from the moon and into Earth orbit. I think that is a severe lacking in the "How To" of this game. But other than that, this is a genuinely well constructed program with a lot of attention to detail. I really am impressed with all the add-on things available and all the people who build amazing vehicles and bases in their spare time to make the simulator more realistic.
If anyone knows where I can find a tutorial to get from the moon back to the Earth, please let me know !!! (I think right now I have 1 DGIV floating past Neptune that I abandoned after trying and trying to save it when attempting to get back to the Earth with no trajectory available on any MFD to know where I was aiming).
The landing I will just have to work on and get better at (or buy a joystick).
If you read this, thank you. If you can offer some help to my dilemma with returning to Earth, I would appreciate it.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    PhantomCruiser's Avatar
    There is a whole series on Earth-Moon-Earth by thesnorklemonkey on youtube. If I were not at work at the moment I could post the link.

    Regarding joysticks... It took me a few weeks to learn to fly with a joystick, but this was after more than two years flying without one.

    edit-
    They (the videos) are on the tutorials page...http://www.orbiter-forum.com/tutorials.php
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 03:58 AM by PhantomCruiser PhantomCruiser is offline
  2. Old Comment
    edjohnbus's Avatar

    Thank You PhantomCruiser

    Thank you for the link, I have been absorbing all the video's I can. I'm also looking out for any PDF files I can find so I not only see how to do this or that (like getting back to Earth from the moon) but also have the data written that I can open in a smaller window and reference while working on my flight.

    I seriously appreciate the kindness of other people who work on and support Orbiter. This is truly a great group of people.

    Edward

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhantomCruiser View Comment
    There is a whole series on Earth-Moon-Earth by thesnorklemonkey on youtube. If I were not at work at the moment I could post the link.

    Regarding joysticks... It took me a few weeks to learn to fly with a joystick, but this was after more than two years flying without one.

    edit-
    They (the videos) are on the tutorials page...http://www.orbiter-forum.com/tutorials.php
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 09:30 AM by edjohnbus edjohnbus is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Urwumpe's Avatar
    Of course, it is also recommendable to learn some basic "spaceflight slang" for finding the information faster. If you plan to go somewhere in space, it is also about entering a transfer orbit that brings you from A to B. When ever you change from your original orbit into a transfer orbit it is called injection. Leaving the transfer orbit into your target orbit is called insertion.

    Going to the moon means entering a lunar transfer orbit, switching into it means translunar injection or TLI. Leaving it at your target means lunar orbit insertion, or LOI.

    There is not just one transfer orbit, but pretty much infinite numbers of them at the same time. Beginners often start with the idea, that transfer orbits are just about "dialing in numbers" and all will work. Usually, it will not work, except you use the same numbers for getting from the exactly same orbit to the same target at the same time in history. You need to get a solution for your transfer orbit, tools like TransX or IMFD will help you there finding a good one. Both tools can also help you for the injection and insertion later.

    Getting from the moon to Earth is like getting from the Earth to the moon. Just in reverse. You play essentially everything backwards: your insertion into lunar orbit becomes your injection burn into the transearth orbit. Instead of slowing down for staying in the lunar gravity well, you now accelerate to leave it. Instead of doing the maneuver where the the moonward leg of the transfer orbit meets your target lunar orbit, you do it where the Earthward leg of the transfer orbit meets your current lunar orbit.

    And yes, since a bit of time passed, you need to calculate the trajectories and maneuvers again - but this time with much better initial guesses, that will make your life easier.

    And always remember: There is more than just one way to the target. And the fastest way to your target often means more fuel to be burned.
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 09:59 AM by Urwumpe Urwumpe is offline
  4. Old Comment
    edjohnbus's Avatar
    Yes, agreed, I do need to learn more of the "spaceflight slang". I'm getting there, although slowly. I have now made 2 successful trips from the Earth to the moon and back, so there is progress in my future. I'm still having difficulty landing in flight mode back on Earth, so I'm using the hover mode option on the DGIV and doing it that way. I'm going to get a joystick to use to help make my atmospheric flights easier. I'm trying not to use any of the autopilots as much as possible to get better at controlling the vehicle.

    Thanks for the lingo tips and thank you for replying to my blog entry.

    Edward

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Comment
    Of course, it is also recommendable to learn some basic "spaceflight slang" for finding the information faster. If you plan to go somewhere in space, it is also about entering a transfer orbit that brings you from A to B. When ever you change from your original orbit into a transfer orbit it is called injection. Leaving the transfer orbit into your target orbit is called insertion.

    Going to the moon means entering a lunar transfer orbit, switching into it means translunar injection or TLI. Leaving it at your target means lunar orbit insertion, or LOI.

    There is not just one transfer orbit, but pretty much infinite numbers of them at the same time. Beginners often start with the idea, that transfer orbits are just about "dialing in numbers" and all will work. Usually, it will not work, except you use the same numbers for getting from the exactly same orbit to the same target at the same time in history. You need to get a solution for your transfer orbit, tools like TransX or IMFD will help you there finding a good one. Both tools can also help you for the injection and insertion later.

    Getting from the moon to Earth is like getting from the Earth to the moon. Just in reverse. You play essentially everything backwards: your insertion into lunar orbit becomes your injection burn into the transearth orbit. Instead of slowing down for staying in the lunar gravity well, you now accelerate to leave it. Instead of doing the maneuver where the the moonward leg of the transfer orbit meets your target lunar orbit, you do it where the Earthward leg of the transfer orbit meets your current lunar orbit.

    And yes, since a bit of time passed, you need to calculate the trajectories and maneuvers again - but this time with much better initial guesses, that will make your life easier.

    And always remember: There is more than just one way to the target. And the fastest way to your target often means more fuel to be burned.
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 11:21 AM by edjohnbus edjohnbus is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Urwumpe's Avatar
    I recommend getting a joystick for landing, since keyboard really requires some dexterity.

    In both cases, joystick or not, you should really remember to trim your spacecraft correctly. I actually land often only by using trim until the final 20 meters in altitude. Remember that spacecraft are flying bricks. You land high and fast. The ILS is nice for the final approach, I usually aim for the first running lights towards the runway while following a 20 glideslope, and finally pull up for intercepting the glideslope on ILS.

    The reentry phase before landing is the hardest part, it takes a lot of time to develop a sense for your remaining energy budget. If you have too much energy, you will overshoot, if you have not enough, you will crash before the base. A bit of overshoot can be compensated, but not the opposite. The hardest part is having the right amount of energy left to also land on the runway.
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 11:47 AM by Urwumpe Urwumpe is offline
  6. Old Comment
    edjohnbus's Avatar
    Speaking of landing like a brick, I do that really well....so I've been doing hover landings....haven't had the pathetic crashes now!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Comment
    I recommend getting a joystick for landing, since keyboard really requires some dexterity.

    In both cases, joystick or not, you should really remember to trim your spacecraft correctly. I actually land often only by using trim until the final 20 meters in altitude. Remember that spacecraft are flying bricks. You land high and fast. The ILS is nice for the final approach, I usually aim for the first running lights towards the runway while following a 20 glideslope, and finally pull up for intercepting the glideslope on ILS.

    The reentry phase before landing is the hardest part, it takes a lot of time to develop a sense for your remaining energy budget. If you have too much energy, you will overshoot, if you have not enough, you will crash before the base. A bit of overshoot can be compensated, but not the opposite. The hardest part is having the right amount of energy left to also land on the runway.
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 02:36 PM by edjohnbus edjohnbus is offline
  7. Old Comment
    BruceJohnJennerLawso's Avatar
    Well, if youre still stuck in orbit, you can pass the time by reading from the earth to the moon. How ironic
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 03:40 PM by BruceJohnJennerLawso BruceJohnJennerLawso is offline
  8. Old Comment
    edjohnbus's Avatar
    you're comment made me snort mountain dew out my nose....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BruceJohnJennerLawso View Comment
    Well, if youre still stuck in orbit, you can pass the time by reading from the earth to the moon. How ironic
    Posted 07-30-2012 at 03:46 PM by edjohnbus edjohnbus is offline
 

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